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Snoopy here - surgery over and home at last

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Hi there,

Well I got home last Wednesday afternoon, but haven't really had a chance to get to the pc. Mum and Dad are here from Scotland, really helping out but I feel that the time I have upright and alert I should be spending with them - not tapping on laptop! (Even at 42 I feel like a child again)

Anyway - hubby brought it upstairs today, so I can lie flat and log on.

The ops went ok. The first was posterior 3 level fusion with rods and screws (3.5 hrs), quite a large incision on my back with loads of staples - the nurse did offer to show me when removed and count them - I declined. But I was also meant to have a titanium cage fitted in the middle disc space at the same time, but the degeneration was worse than the MRI had shown, so doc decided to leave at that time, resize and do both discs anteriorly (?) 6 days later. Because of this I had no epidural or catheter, and was mobilised onto a commode within first 24 hours.

Recovery from this was quick and not too painful. I had a morphine PCA but wasn't using at all really - just before getting out of bed. Being tied to one place with 'leg inflators', pca, saline drip, 2 x intravenous antibact botttles and a drain took quite some detangling to enable any movement to toilet etc But I was unhooked by day 2. Walking around hospital and stairs/outside on day 4.

Then day 6 (Friday 17th) I went for the anterior surgery(2hrs) - 2 discs removed and cages inserted with no bone graft but stem cell/bone marrow. I have disolvable stitches and steri strips - so nothing to remove this time. Scar from belly button down about 5 inches.

This op went ok from surgeon side, but the build up of gas has been awful. Trapped under shoulder blades and around stomach - if this is colic that babies get, no wonder they cry - I did. The aneathatist visited the night after and prescribed an injection to help dissapate it - this affects different people in different ways, but my bowels and insides obviously did NOT like being moved around!!

Anyway another PCA, saline drip and 1 x intravenous antibact bottle, but no drain this time - and the good old inflatable legs were back for another 48 hours. I didn't feel so well after this op, and on the Monday I really was a poor soul - friends were quite worried - but a good nights sleep and 24 hours made a huge difference, walked outside Tuesday and was allowed out with good behaviour Wednesday.

Now I'm home things aren't too bad. I'm taking 2 x 50mg tramadol twice a day, and 2 x paracetamol 500mg 4 times, plus 10mg amitriptyline at bed time for the first 7 days - apart from the ami, this is less than before the ops!!

I walk 2 x 400m a day (not far) and will increase to 2 x 800m on Wednesday. I still have trouble sitting for any length of time, but it isn't pain it is more like a bad ache, and my body needs to relearn how to do certain things. No back brace or anything, just instruction not to bend/lift/twist from the waist - everything with a straight back - so I can bend down but need to lower myself by the legs, and at 6 foot its a long way back up!!!! I still need help with socks as I've to were the surgical stockings for a few more days - but when the've gone I should be ok.

And there it is - I would't recommend 2 ops in 6 days to anyone, but at least now it is over. I can lie flat on my back for this 1st time in years. I don't limp and all the old pains have gone. They've been replaced with new aches, and the evenings are painful - but I'm still only on week one! As long as the old pain doesn't return - new aches and pains are to be expected I'm told, but these will ease with time.

Thank you all for the kind words of support - I will keep updating my progress




  • I think the gas is the worst freakin past. That stuff is a killer. I had surgery from the front and back as well, but in one 6 hour surgery. I wasn't allowed anything but clear liquids until the day I left the hospital. Lame. The digestive stuff messes you up the worst, for sure. I HATEHATEHATED that. That kept me in the hospital an extra night and day.
  • Snoopy, welcome home! I have been thinking about you. I take it your surgeon was in better health this time ;) . So glad to see you on the other side. It will continue to get better each week. You have been through so much and it sounds like you are doing great. You take your time and rest, rest, rest! Follow all those rules and you'll be up and at em in no time I am sure. >:D< Sue
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  • I was told to eat a healthy breakfast before surgery as I'd be hungry after, I was prompted to order breakfast lunch and dinner the day after too

    There has been NO restriction on food - just a lot of questions re my BM's and wind situation :$

    After 1st op the consultant just needed to know when I'd 'been'.... and I had a phosphate enema the day before 2nd op (TMI I KNOW) after 2nd he was more worried about the 'passing of wind' (or lack of it) Seemingly once you've passed wind that is the indication that the bowels are returning to normal.

    Still having a few troubles in that area - but don't all spineys??? It goes with the territory it seems!!

    So Lo - how are you doing????
  • Hi Sue

    I really do feel fine - strange isn't it? I know mum is doing the housework/cooking etc but I feel really guilty as I don't feel ill or weary at all..... perhaps meds are still inside me and to wear off - but I don't think so 10 days post op.

    Only thng I need to firm up with the physio's tomorrow is the sitting. I was told it would feel strange - and it does - but I think I'm doing things wrong. I lay upstairs reading/core exrecises etc, then cpme down and sit in an upright chair/recliner for a while - but if watcing tv that can be 40 mins or so.

    Today I thougt about this a bit more and I THINK I will start/should be doing about 10 minutes at a time (eat lunch etc) and then lie down on sofa for the rest of the hour. I will phone and confirm in the morning - but didn't really get clear instruction on this

    What do you guys think??? :??
  • Snoopy, all these docs are different. Mine only allowed 10 minutes of sitting per hour for the first 2 weeks, then increased to 15 minutes per hour until 8 weeks, then all restrictions lifted. My surgeon gave me post-op instructions weeks before I had surgery. That was nice, so I knew what to expect. >:D< Sue
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  • Welcome home and well done! :D

    I've been gunning for you!

    The sitting is the worst...3x I have done this. Listen to your body. It will tire very quickly - 10 mins then slowly build up.

    Mega careful with ballerina posture. No twisting or lifting. Dare and you'll know why!

    It is great to hear your success report - "can lie down for the first time in years" - reminded me that my own experience has not been all bad - I too can lie on my back again (not for too long mind) but I can. :))(

    Anyhow, I hope you have a speedy recovery. well done!
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